Rey Mysterio eeked out a victory over Randy Orton in a so-so match with an uninspired climax.
Orton is one of my all-time favorites, and he’s clearly much better as a heel. So he’s operating in a space that he’s most comfortable. Mysterio is perhaps the greatest little man in wrestling history. While both are a bit past their prime, the groundwork was there for a strong match at WWE TLC.
Unfortunately, it didn’t quite deliver.
Orton and Mysterio have a history dating back more than a decade, but the feud has been renewed on Smackdown as the two legends floundered on the blue brand’s mid-card. At its best, this match could have been an exhibition of storytelling by two old pros, but it wasn’t quite what I’d hoped.
There were some solid moments in the match, mostly due to Mysterio’s uncanny ability to maintain upper-echelon athleticism this deep into his career, and Orton’s ease of motion in the ring.
Here are the most memorable moments.
The ending was perhaps the most disappointing aspect. While I didn’t have an issue with Mysterio going over in this match, especially considering the brutal beatdowns he’d suffered at the hands of The Viper in recent weeks, it was the way things finished that left me scratching my head. The move that got the 3-count didn’t seem like the type of manuever that should have ended a pay-per-view match.
The idea was slick, but the execution was a bit choppy. Mysterio slammed Orton’s head into a chair, and with The Apex Predator seated, the King of the 619 ran across two parallel chairs into a pinning rollup.
It generated the quick 3 count and a win. Pardon my pro wrestling snobbery but that felt like the end of a match on an episode of Smackdown, and not even during the main event. Perhaps their match had to be cut short to make room for what turned out to be an elongated battle between Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose and Becky Lynch, Charlotte and Asuka, but the result was something that felt too abrupt.